Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Jarrod Davidson: Murderous family secret

A Change of Heart

The case moved toward trial. Seventeen months had passed since the murder and Philip Jones had had a lot of time to reflect. He decided to plead guilty and confess, but wanted something in return. Knowing that his statements would implicate his family members, Philip wanted a deal for his daughter because she still had her whole life yet to live.

The prosecutor agreed to let Kelee plead guilty to a count of perjury and being an accessory to murder after the fact. Her sentence would be four years in prison instead of life.

Philip told his story on videotape while lying in a hospital bed, looking as if death could come at any minute. He admitted to visiting Jarrod's apartment complex the day before to plan the murder. He had bought the card. Mindy had bought the violet and placed it several feet in front of Jarrod's apartment so he would be lured out side for a clean shot. Then she had rung the doorbell.

As Jarrod stepped outside to retrieve the plant, Philip opened fire from behind a clump of bushes across the courtyard. Philip had previously claimed that he was unable to hold and fire a rifle because of his disability. Detectives knew this was false because they had put him under surveillance and caught him handling heavy boxes.

Philip was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Given his current state of health, it had the makings of a short stint behind bars. Kelee was given her agreed-upon four years and, as part of the deal, Mindy was supposed to plead guilty as well without the special circumstances and receive a sentence of 25 years to life. That would have meant she would have been eligible for parole.

At the last minute, Mindy, who Sorenson believes masterminded the entire plot, nixed the deal and decided to take her chances at trial.

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